Archive for the 'Make-ahead' Category



Marinated Chicken Alla Griglia

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Pickled Grapes

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This dish sounds strange, but the flavor was excellent (sweet, salty, a little spicy).  Easy to make and definitely worth a try.

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Slow-Cooker Cassoulet

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By now you may be doubting the authenticity of the recipes on this blog.  Last week, I posted an Irish Stew recipe that didn’t include lamb and now I’m posting a Cassoulet recipe that doesn’t include duck.  In the past, I have made this the more traditional way (using the recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook) with duck confit, tarbais beans, and pork belly.  It was outstanding and I will likely make it again.  That being said, I was specifically looking for a slow-cooker recipe to make on Christmas Eve.  This was part of a perfect Christmas Eve – get the dish ready in the morning, get the kitchen clean, spend the day with the family, head to church in the evening, and come home to a delicious-smelling house and a hearty meal.

Merry Christmas to all, and to a good night.

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Irish Beef Stew

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Okay, okay, I know that authentic Irish stew is supposed to be made from mutton or lamb, but everyone in my family prefers beef.  This may not be authentic, but it is delicious.  I say below that it can be refrigerated for two or three days, but I should probably say that it *should* be.  This is a dish that improves significantly in the fridge, and is much better on the second day.

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Chocoflan

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This dessert is also known as pastel imposible – impossible cake.  As you can see below, the cake batter and the flan switch places in the oven.  My oldest daughter requested this as the birthday cake for her 9th birthday party, capping an all-Rick-Bayless menu of tequila-infused queso fundido, guacamole, fajitas made with grilled chicken and chipotle flank steak, fried black beans, chorizo, and Mexican red rice – all made using Rick Bayless recipes.

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Beef Carbonnade

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This dish is essentially Belgium’s answer to Beef Bourguignon.  Traditionally, it’s made with just beef, beer, and onions, but the extra ingredients in this particular recipe enable a much deeper flavor and thicker consistency which I prefer.  You really need to use some kind of dark beer here (Guinness works well and is easy to find, though a dark Belgian beer adds a nice, authentic flavor) to get the desired result.  This can easily be made a day or two in advance and reheated.

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Sweet Potato Puree with Streusel Topping

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Now that we’re back in Indiana, we’re celebrating Thanksgiving at my mom’s rather than hosting.  My assignments included the sweet potatoes.  I asked if anyone had strong opinions about them, and my sister replied that she would only eat them if they’re loaded with butter and brown sugar.  This recipe should do the trick.

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Texas Chili

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This is a pretty classic chili recipe – no beans, no noodles, etc – just well-seasoned, slow-cooked pork and beef.   You could easily add cooked (or canned) beans along with the masa harina in the last few minutes of simmering.

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Skillet-Baked Ziti

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Like a number of the items on this blog, my friend Virginia turned me on to this.  The great thing about this recipe is the versatility.  It can be cooked quickly (30 minutes from start to finish) and in a single pan, making it a great weeknight dinner.  It can also be cooked in advance and finished much later in a hot oven.  You can also double or triple the recipe, using a pot instead of a skillet and transferring it to a baking dish before sprinkling with the Mozzarella and finishing in the oven.

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Bison Shepherd’s Pie

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This is an excellent one-dish meal.  It also has the benefit of being easy to make a day or so in advance, making it perfect for serving during halftime of a football game on a chilly autumn day.

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